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Aiden's big weekend

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This is a big weekend for my son Aiden and Me.

Friday was the first time for Aiden to see Santa. He wants a little red wagon and a riding toy.

Today December 16 Aiden turns one year old. We will have a party later this week when his mother and my wife Tina is off from work.

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Phillip, that pic made a bunch of people here smile. I'm sitting in a coffee shop in the PRC, Wuhan, Wuchang District, and I blew it up and showed some of the locals. They all want to know who the little boy is.

Several dozen people in China now know he's "Phillip's Son".

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That is great fun.

My daughter, 22 months, was awestruck by Santa twice in the last week. The first was at my son's winter orchestra concert, where she spotted one of the local farmers with a long white beard and equally long grey pony tail, in a dirty red t shirt and Santa hat. She was jumping up and down and shouting " Santa! Santa!" She spotted him again at the gas station on our way home and we had to drive around the lot twice so she could see him.

Saturday we took her to see the 'real' Santa at the local fire hall. She couldn't see past the crowd so I picked her up. When she saw him it was like slow motion; her eyes widened, her mouth formed a perfect little 'O', and she raised her hand and pointed. Then she looked at me and giggled. She was so enamoured she sat on his lap twice.

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My boy, 11, is way too cool for Santa. He was on date with his cello partner from orchestra, chaperoned by my neice and his friend's grand parents.

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Those pics bring brought back a muddy memory.

My mother took my brother Hugh and I to Poughkeepsie shopping and took us to see Santa Claus in a big local department store - Wallaces I think it was called. That store was upscale and I remember they had an elaborate "North Pole" complete with a couple of "elves" - we called them midgets in those days, which I guess is politically unacceptable now.

The Santa's suit was pretty elaborate and that hair and beard, if it was a wig and fake beard, was as realistic as it could get. I don't know whether it was Hughie or if it was me, but one of us went off like a factory lunch whistle when my mother plunked the two of us together on that guy's lap for pictures. I can still remember my mother's consternation and embarrassment as she spent probably at least five minutes trying to calm whichever one of us it was down again so that the photographer could take that picture.

Santa smelled like beer and cigarettes.



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